The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Falling for Another 9/11 Controversy

It has been 10 years since 9/11 made its mark on American history and yet the disastrous memory has continued to linger within the media. It seems to me that there are often only two options. 9/11 can become a source for plot and drama, as seen in the recent opening of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, another excuse to make money from yet another 9/11 movie (of which there have been up to 38 made, according to Wikipedia). Alternatively, if the tragedy is not directly addressed, then it manages to creep into any image or statement that threatens a similarity.
A new poster for the upcoming season of the hit show Mad Men has recently fallen victim to this controversy. The poster utilizes the singular image of a businessman falling upside down. Besides the air date, no other text is present, not even the name of the show. For fans of the show, this image is instantly recognizable as the same man that falls past billboards and skyscrapers in the opening credits. For critics on the hunt for anything related to 9/11, however, the falling image is a direct insensitivity to the event. Rants immediately emerged online that compared the singular image to that of “The Falling Man,” the literal title for a picture taken on 9/11 of an anonymous man jumping headfirst out of one of the falling towers.
My initial reaction to the Mad Men poster was an appreciation of the cleverness and creativity behind the advertising. I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that a majority of people who were to view the poster without knowing of the imposed 9/11 reference would simply see it as just that: an advertising technique. As my eyes skimmed from the poster to the following headlines of controversy, I immediately raised an eyebrow towards the connection. Obviously the two images are similar, but the animation of the businessman falling in the opening credits of the show has been around for years. Funny that no one has made the connection until the image was isolated onto a poster.
The stretch of this connection, as well as the accusations of insensitivity, baffle me. Though I cannot remotely begin to understand the healing process and scars of those who lost family members in the 9/11 attacks, I can pull from my own understanding of loss. Who would want to be reminded of that horrible day year after year? True, there is worth and value in the remembrance of those affected; however, by constantly pulling 9/11 connections out of the media that surrounds and consumes all of our daily lives, we are only opening up scars that need time and distance in order to heal. It is hard for me to believe that the team behind the poster for Mad Men’s new season were intentionally hoping to exploit the removed connection between their iconic image and one of 9/11.
We have reached the ten year mark since this disastrous event took place, and now, perhaps, it is time to move on. We don’t have to forget, but we do need to back down from assuming an insensitive connection in anything that may remotely resemble 9/11. As for Mad Men, perhaps this controversy will garner viewers for their new season, but should we assume that they were plotting that all along?



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home